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Las vocales en español

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Las vocales/vowels


Spanish has five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, which are pronounced the same way regardless of their position in a word. They are (roughly, because English pronunciation varies so much) pronounced as follows:


a   pronounced with mouth further open than in English "hat"; the sound is more like the vowel in English in the word "hot"

e   pronounced like the vowel sound of words like "net"

i   pronounced somewhere between the vowels of "ship" and "sheep"

o   pronounced somewhere between the vowels of "off" and "loaf"

u   pronounced like a short version of the vowel sound in "roof"


OJO   Among English speakers, there is a tendency to “glide” the vowel into dipthong . For example, instead of pronouncing the sound [e], English speakers might say [ei]; instead of [o], they might pronounce it like [ow]; instead of [i], the sound is pronounced as a glide [iy]. If you don't pronounce each vowel and its correct sound, you might be misunderstood by Spanish speakers.


Listen to the following examples and repeat:


la     le     li     lo     lu

pan     pen     pin     pon     pun


Práctica de vocales



i and u are called "weak" (débiles o cerradas), which means that in combination with another vowel, they tend to lose their vocalic quality and sound like "y" and "w" (examples: bien has only one syllable and the vowel you hear is the "e"; bue - no has two syllables and sounds like "bweno." ). Grammatically, the union of two vowels to make the sound of one is called “diphthongs.” They exist in English like in the words “f i ne” and “m u le.”

Generally, a weak vowel in combination with any other vowel will be pronounced as one syllable. Examples: Dios, fue, nuez, all of which have only one syllable.

Listen to the following examples:


a cuadro, aula
e tuerca,huésped
o cuidado, triunfo
u buho, cuota


Práctica de diptongos



Some times in Spanish a weak vowel (i and u) is to be pronounced as a separate syllable or sound. In those cases, the vowel needs an accent mark.

Listen to the following examples:


rí-o     o-í-do     ve-ní-a     i-rí-a     se-rí-a     



a , o , and e are called "strong" (fuertes o abiertas). Two strong vowels are always pronounced as two syllables: po-e-ma has three syllables, ca-os has two.

Listen to the following examples:


  reo   paseo   leer   traer   poeta    ahora   zoológico   





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